According to the Cross-boundary Movement of Physical Currency and Bearer Negotiable Instruments Ordinance, Chapter 629, Laws of Hong Kong (“the Ordinance”), an advance electronic declaration must be made to the Customs and Excise Department via the Currency and Bearer Negotiable Instruments Declaration System (“CDS”) for importing or exporting on a cross-boundary conveyance a large quantity of currency and bearer negotiable instruments (“CBNIs”) (i.e. CBNIs of a total value more than HKD120,000) as cargo in one batch.
Note 1: Examples of such instrument include traveller’s cheque, bearer cheque, promissory note, bearer bond, money order and postal order.
CBNIs imported or exported as cargo in one batch refer to CBNIs imported or exported on a cross-boundary conveyance by:
* Please refer to section 10 of the Ordinance for the definitions of “carrier”, “customer” and “forwarder”.
Note 2: If, for example, the customer engages two different forwarders to arrange for the import or export of CBNIs, the CBNIs will be in different batches.
The above declaration requirement does not apply to the following types of CBNIs:
The value of CBNIs denominated in a currency other than HKD (e.g. foreign currency) would be calculated in accordance with the opening indicative counter exchange selling rate published by the Hong Kong Association of Banks (“HKAB”) on the 15th day of the month preceding the month in which the CBNIs are imported or exported. If HKAB did not publish such rate on the day mentioned above, the value of the CBNIs would be calculated according to the most recent rate HKAB published before the day (Note 3).
If no opening indicative counter exchange selling rate is published by HKAB for a particular currency, the value of the CBNIs would be determined by reference to the United Nations Operational Rates of Exchange (“UN rate”) being effective for the currency concerned on the 15th day of the month preceding the month in which the CBNIs are imported or exported. The value of the CBNIs in HKD can be obtained by converting the nominal value of the CBNIs first to USD and then HKD using the UN rate.
It should be noted that in making a declaration, the value of CBNIs should be stated in the currency in which the CBNIs are denominated. No conversion to HKD is necessary. For example, in declaring USD20,000, the value should be stated as “USD 20,000”.
Note 3: For example, if the CBNIs are imported or exported on 31 July 2018, the declarant should refer to HKAB’s opening indicative counter selling rate on 15 June 2018. If the CBNIs are imported or exported on 1 August 2018, the declarant should refer to the rate published on 14 July 2018, since 15 July 2018 is a Sunday on which HKAB normally does not publish exchange rates. Historical rates are available at HKAB’s website.
All breaches are subject to criminal proceedings. The maximum penalty is a fine of HKD500,000 and imprisonment for two years.